Can a remedy fail to take effect after taking many years?

Expert answer:

Yes, some remedies may not have the same effect after some time, because the body gets tolerant to the drug. In these cases, the patient needs to take larger dose of the medication to have the same effect.

This happens in the long term, especially with hypnotic, tranquillizers or anxiolytics, especially benzodiazepines.

The antidepressants may also lose the effect due to tolerance, although it is rare. This is more frequent in people who get better and stop taking the medicine ahead of time, then have a relapse and then take it again, get better and stop again, and so on.

The antidepressants that usually cause tolerance are the serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, among others.

In case the antidepressant loses its effect due to these pauses and resumes, it is necessary to exchange the drug for another that has a different mechanism of action, or start taking some mood stabilizer.

If you think your medicine is not working, do not increase the dose you take on your own. Consult your prescriber to make the necessary adjustments.

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